Travel Emergency Assistance
Preparing for international travel and potential emergency situations outside of the U.S. may be very different than in the U.S. University of California researchers are covered by university insurance while traveling abroad. In an emergency, contact your UC contracted travel insurance company on the card you printed after registering. They have responders online 24/7 and can facilitate local interventions as well as having a person onsite if that is needed.
University of California employees, their dependents, UC students, and other individuals are covered by university insurance while traveling abroad.
In case of an emergency, call UHC Global Assistance:
- 410-453-6330 (From outside the U.S.)
- 800-527-0218 (From U.S. and Canada)
They have responders online 24/7 and can facilitate local interventions as well as having a person onsite if that is needed.
Other resources listed in this section will help you prepare for emergencies abroad.
International Travel Emergency Response Checklist
This checklist is a tool for university faculty, staff and students to prepare to respond to an emergency. The international location, type of activity, number of participants, modes of transportation, etc., will determine the level of planning needed.
Provide a written emergency response plan that is country and travel specific.
Identify likely, foreseeable emergencies (examples below), have a plan, and conduct appropriate emergency response training for participants and staff.
- Civil unrest or other security related issues
- Communication device failure in remote locations
- Injury, illness or death of participants or group leaders
- Need for others to contact participants
- Need to unexpectedly return home
- Participant or group leader behavioral issues
- Theft or other crimes
- Vehicle accidents or breakdown
- Weather-related emergencies
Identify official and personal emergency contacts and set up a crisis phone tree (“who calls whom”) in the event of an emergency.
- Develop a communication plan and backup (cell phone/satellite phone/laptop/etc.)
- Develop meeting places for evacuation or gathering locations in emergency situations—city by city
- Names and phone numbers of campus departments and dispatch and an after hours Sponsoring Department and International Education contact
- Names and phone numbers of emergency personnel (police, fire, ambulance, nearby urgent care and hospital)
- Names and numbers of other important contacts, International Health insurance, Transportation, In-country contacts, etc.
- Names and phone numbers of participant emergency contacts
- Prepare first aid kit and emergency kit with provisions, e.g. flashlight, batteries, blankets, water, bandages, energy bars, etc.
- Implement security measures for participants, personal property and university-owned or leased property. Personal property (not university-owned) is the owner's responsibility.
- Provide and discuss with group leaders, coordinators, departmental contact, approving authority, and other key persons an up-to-date copy of the written plan for the travel.
Determine cell phone coverage for areas prior to travel. Special satellite phones may be an option for remote areas.
Participants should be involved in emergency planning to address their needs for appropriate assistance during a medical emergency as well as insure their familiarity with the plan. Advise participants of potential issues that could arise from injury/illness situations so that they can properly plan for their specific needs (e.g. accessibility, allergies, medical insurance, medication, etc.).
- Review language issues as they may apply to emergency situations.
If you are working remotely with an established group, determine what emergency supplies are on hand for staff. Is their post-exposure prophylaxis kit on hand, and not expired? If medical supplies are short, are there sufficient stocks to deal with a staff emergency? Do they re-use needles? If you are sick, how will you be cared for? Talk to people on site or recent returnees. If you are organizing the trip you have defined minimum standards of care you must provide to your UC employees.
For more information please see Traveler Health.